This post comes to us courtesy of Maria Hunt, author and blogger at The Bubbly Girl.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, is there any other kind of wine to pour other than something pink?
Pink is the color of romance, the color of new love, kisses and cotton candy. Whether the color pink just makes you smile or you’re interested in setting a Pantone-perfect Valentine’s table, rosé is the perfect choice.
And no matter what foods you’re serving for your lover’s feast – from butter-poached lobster to smoked salmon to strawberries and cream, there’s a rosé that can complement your favorite dishes in style.
Rosé wines are so food friendly because they live in that neverland between white and red wine, they’re a little bit of both. Some rosés are really white wines with a splash of red wine added for color and flavor while others are made by crushing red grapes and then bleeding or siphoning off the juice. Whether dry or slightly sweet, sparkling or still, the best rosé wines have a balance of freshess, fruit and acidity that make them great with all sorts of food.
Rosé is the perfect compromise, sure to douse any potential lovers’ quarrel over what wine to drink with Valentine’s dinner. Here are some delicious rosés to help you uncork romance this Valentine’s Day:
|2011 Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste Napa Valley Rosé
The wine: A delicious shade of salmon pink, Arriviste debuts with subtle aromas of cherry and tart red berries like a rosé from Provence in the South of France. But on the palate, this upstart blossoms into a bold wine with flavors of strawberry and plum that reveal its Bordelais blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Arriviste is made by the saignée method where the wine is bled off the tank of red grape juice when it reaches the desired shade and flavor concentration.
Pair with: A cheese plate with dried fruits and manchego cheese or smoked or sautéed salmon.
Price: About $24
|NV Champagne Lanson Rose Label Brut Rosé
The wine: This is a delicate rosé champagne with subtle notes of red currant and cranberry balanced by deeper toastier notes. It’s a perfect aperitif wine; it’s refreshing but with enough weight to make you crave it with something more substantial. And anyone who’s mad about the color combination of pink and black will be drawn to this gorgeous bottling.
Pair with: Oysters Rockefeller, roasted pork, prosciutto and cheese.
Price: About $49
|Angove Family Winemakers Zibibbo Pink Moscato
The wine: Moscato, from Down Under? Actually the climate in Southern Italy – where Moscato is known as Zibibbo – is quite similar to that in Southern Australia. Pink Moscatos - which are tinted with a splash of red wine – have become quite fashionable quite lately. This one is crafted from Muscat of Alexandria grapes, and the wine delivers Moscato’s delicious fruit cocktail of peaches, nectarines spiced with hint of nutmeg.
Pair with: Spicy Thai curry, roasted pears with blue cheese or creamy cheeses with fresh berries, like a coeur a la creme.
Price: About $15
|NV Graham Beck Western Cape Brut RoséThe wine: Made from biodynamically raised Pinot Noir grapes, this is one of the most beautiful brut rosés in its price category. It’s a cap classique, the South African term for sparkling wines made the same way as Champagne. Like a pale pink jewel, it sparkles with flavors of pink grapefruit, rhubarb and red berries.
Pair with: Crab salad with pink grapefruit segments and avocado, butter-poached lobster.
Price: About $16
|Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui
The wine: Any exploration of romantic rosé woud be incomplete without a brachetto d’acqui. The grape is prized in its native Piedmont as an aphrodisiac, perhaps because of its seductive aroma and sweet-tart flavor that blends floral rose with raspberries and cranberry. Cleopatra loved wines from this ancient grape and both Marc Anthony and Caesar wooed her with it.
Pair with: Brachetto is a natural with dark bittersweet chocolate, tangy lemon curd tartlets. But it’s quite delicious as a foil for salty foods like figs stuffed with blue cheese.
Price: About $19
For ideas on making Valentine cocktails with rosé sparkling wines, visit my website The Bubbly Girl.
About the author: Maria Hunt is the author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009) and the hostess of The Bubbly Girl, a champagne and sparkling wine and cocktails entertaining site.